ABOUT EXPAT JOBS AT Charlie's Travels (travel agency)

Charlie's Travels (travel agency)

Charlie’s Travels organizes unique and adventurous holidays in East-Africa and Southern Africa. The company plays on the fact that Africa is booming, and more and more people want to experience true/pure Africa – a standard holiday doesn’t satisfy anymore. As modern day explorers we develop ne...



Wanted: CEO at fast-growing Africa travel scale-up ‘Charlie’s Travels’ in Nairobi, Kenya.

Charlie’s Travels is an innovative ‘on the ground’ Africa tour operator focused on a more ‘real’ and authentic Africa experience. With off the beaten track travel, we want to create a broader view of the world and spread the impact of tourism on nature and cultures. As CEO you are responsible for the strategy and growth of the company, the P&L, building your team, expanding to other African regions and expansion into other markets.

Sounds good! Who is this Charlie?!
Hi, I’m Charlie! Africa-lover, adventurer and an entrepreneur with a vision for the tourism industry. My strengths (optimistic, creative, energetic) are accompanied with shortcomings (structure, managing, strategy). Therefore I’m looking for you, a strong right hand, so that together we can grow this beautiful company!

About Charlie's Travels (CT) , it started as a wild dream in 2014: on a motorcycle, with laptop and camera, in search of "real" experiences away from the tourist circus. Turns out, there was a high demand for this type of travel and curious travellers knew where to find me. In 2016, a former Rocket Internet manager joined: with plug & play techniques the one-man show became a startup!

Years of growth: the travel industry is big, and the number of (small-scale) Africa travel agencies are countless on Google. Why didn't CT remain a one-man business; how did it grow to 50 FTEs in 4 years; from 100 to 2000 travellers annually; from € 200k to € 4m annual turnover; from no office to teams in Nairobi (HQ, the “Jungle Villa”), Kampala, and Cape Town? With investors? Nope, we have grown 100% autonomously on our own profits.

Off the beaten track travel takes away stereotypes/prejudices and lets people experience a more 'real' Africa!

Why have we grown so rapidly? In a traditional market, we’re distinctive in many ways, but these are our main USPs:
1. "People don't buy what you do, but why you do it!" (Sinek) Few companies know why they do what they do. CT does! We are extremely passionate because we want to show Africa beyond prejudices (e.g.: dangerous, poverty, etc.)! This intrinsic drive is in our DNA and everyone feels it: the team, the travellers, the partners, the fans!
We’re not just a travel agency but a (by word of mouth) fast-growing community!

2. Product Development (PD) : In a traditional (safari) sector we develop a new, different, innovative product; authentic travel. Dutch travel agencies based in the Netherlands do not have the ‘local’ knowledge or do not know how to organize this. For local tour operators, it is difficult to understand the traveller and its desires, and providers on websites like Tripadvisor/Airbnb aren’t offering enough service. The demand for authentic & responsible travel that fulfils is quickly rising and we fill that big growing gap!

3. Marketing, Branding & Content: Skilled in-house marketing & content team that manages our website and therefore able to do quick iterations. Who does a consumer trust: a company or a person? Charlie is a social brand that talks (KLM and bol.com would be jealous of it!) We also have yet to see another travel agency that has its own video channel with more than 250 high-quality travel documentaries and sales videos? Check Charlie’s & Chill !

4. Being on the ground is essential for all USPs and has many other advantages: operationally effective, lower costs, no middle man, ability to create an impact locally, train partners, excellent product knowledge and corresponding increased sales power, etc.!

Main goals in the coming 3 years , we are ready for a new phase:
1. Market Share in the Netherlands x5 : Create a marketing ecosystem, increase ads budget, finalizing sales funnel with automations, standardize back-end product and PD with software without losing tailor-made feel and options.
2. Expansion : Enter other European markets (DACH, UK and/or Nordics). Develop a strategy and roll out with country specialized sales & marketing teams.
3. Expand destination portfolio : A standard package-traveller: “Africa, it’s such a beautiful country!”. The second biggest continent in the world counts approximately 3000 tribes, 2000 languages and 54 countries! We want to show the diversity of the whole continent! What’s next: The Horn of Africa, Sahara, Sahel, one of the Islands, Central- and/or West-Africa? With partnerships, new offices and/or freelancers?
Make a strategy and let’s do it!
4. Responsible & Regenerative Tourism : Off the beaten track in itself already spreads tourism and therefore fits in the current trends of tourism. Our CSR strategy has 3 pillars: Economy, Nature and Culture! With setting up a Tourism Academy and Eco-Community Lodges we can offer an even better experience and train our partners in a better way. And most important: How can we convince the traveller to
make a more conscious choice? Our behaviour has to change, and fast! Contribute to this!

About the CEO-role: What does it look like?
● Set up strategies & execute together with MT & team: where are we going, Why?
● Manage MT: Motivate, hold accountable (KPI’s) & train them how to manage.
● Commercially : growth NL market and expansion into other European markets.
● Operationally: streamlining processes across the company and ultimately responsible for large projects.
● Financially : P&L forecasts & budgets + analysis of the most important KPIs.
● General : internal processes, HR (together with HR manager), legal & tax.

About the person: character traits

An Africa based off the beaten track tour operator means:
● Open-minded, adventurous, interested in cultures and new perspectives
● Love for the product/travel, preferably a passion for Africa
● Culturally sensitive & interest in sustainable tourism

Managing a scale-up with young people means the following:
● A natural leader
● Open-minded, accessible & down to earth
● Socially intelligent, patient & empathic
● Realistic but also optimistic
● Energetic & fun
● Decision-maker & consistent


Must-haves :
● At least 5 years of management experience
● 8 years of work experience within several companies
● Commercial mindset: noticing and exploiting opportunities

Very nice to haves :
● Familiar with growth strategies
● Travel industry affinity and/or work experience
● Africa experience (travelling or living)
● Analytical skills
● Financially well-versed
● Affinity with Responsible, Eco and Community Tourism
● General management / CEO experience

1. A job that doesn't feel like work : you’ll be working for another 30 years, better enjoy it!
2. Co-entrepreneurship : you lead and grow a company that is yours too!
3. Development & Growth : we love what we do and by chance, we are on the right side of development and growth (authentic & responsible tourism, Africa = booming).
This makes the business game fun with lots of opportunities!
4. Joy : There is nothing more satisfying than having a product/service that brings enjoyment: within the team, our local partners and of course our travellers!
5. Making a difference: our goals are tangible, the work you do today will be visible tomorrow.
6. Contributing to the development of Responsible Tourism : travel should contribute, not detract! Contribute to this positive change!
7. Lifestyle : living & travelling in one of the most beautiful places in the world! After a working day/week: nature, fun, adventure >> YOU'RE ALIVE !!!
8. A close-knit team : you are building something beautiful with friends, not colleagues. The Angels become your family ;)

● Market-based salary (according to Dutch travel industry standards)
● Bonus if targets are reached
● Equity (depending on work experience, salary and investment)
● Travel agency-worthy benefits: housing & ticket allowance, plenty of vacation days, etc.
● Note: don't expect exuberant ex-pat style allowances, we are still a modest SME ;)

Are you interested in becoming a CEO in Kenya? Apply now at the top or bottom of our page.

Note: This is a job advertisement, applications will be forwarded to the employer for selection. JobnetAfrica believes all applicants should get feedback, good or bad, but are not further involved in the recruitment for this particular vacancy.

Expiring: Jan 31, 2021
Director Finance, Operations & Strategy in Kenya , Kenya

Ben jij avontuurlijk, ondernemend, toe aan een nieuwe omgeving, en wil jij je strategy, finance en organisatorische talenten gebruiken om een travel startup in Afrika te laten groeien als kool? Dan zoeken we jou!

Charlie’s Travels (“CT”) organiseert tailor made avontuurlijke reizen in Oost- en Zuid-Afrika voor groepen, families en koppels. Afrika is booming en reizigers willen steeds vaker het “echte” Afrika ervaren – een standaard reis voldoet niet langer. Charlie’s Travels biedt zelfgemaakte experiences, die je nergens anders kunt vinden.

Na 1.5 jaar geleden succesvol als 1-pitter geopereerd te hebben en meer dan honderd reizen georganiseerd te hebben, heeft CT in Oktober 2016 een ambitieuze uitbreidingsstrategie uitgerold. Na het aanstellen van een lokaal operations team, is er een start-up villa opgericht, waar nu meer dan 15 internationale ‘sales en business developers’ werken aan de groei van onze core business (de Nederlandse markt), en het ontwikkelen van verschillende nieuwe markten. De reeds bewezen core business richt zich op groepsreizen (veelal studenten lustrumreizen), familiereizen en avontuurlijke reizen voor jonge koppels (adventurous lovebirds).

Het is onze ambitie om binnen 12 maanden ons marktaandeel in Nederland te vervijfvoudigen, en onze intrede te hebben gemaakt in de DACH mark, met alle additionele operations die daarvoor nodig zijn. Op dit moment rollen we nieuwe proposities uit op het gebied van Motorsafaris, Golfreizen, Festivalreizen, Kitesurfreizen en zijn we actief bezig de Duitstalige en Aziatische markt aan te boren met business developers uit de regio. Dingen die werken bouwen we uit, dingen die niet werken stoppen we. Er is altijd ruimte voor nieuwe ideeën. In dit groeiproces speelt de Director Finance, Operations & Strategy een sleutelrol.

Je bent verantwoordelijk voor:

1. General Management & Strategy (i.s.m. Charles);
- Je bent de business partner en sparringpartner van oprichter Charles Witlox. Samen zetten jullie de lijnen uit voor de groei van de business. Charles neemt Sales en Marketing voor zijn rekening, jij zorgt dat Finance en Operations goed staat.
- Je bent verantwoordelijk voor het optimaliseren van systemen en processen. Identificeert wat de business units nodig hebben (e.g. programma’s/excel/templates) om efficiënter te kunnen werken. (CRM, finance systeem, Marketing tools etc.)
- HR: Identificeren welke additionele functies/rollen het bedrijf nodig heeft om georganiseerd te kunnen groeien.
- Strategisch coachen en begeleiding geven aan verschillende business units

2. Finance
- Trainen en Aansturen van lokale Finance Manager (wordt op dit moment gerekruteerd); zorgen dat de financiële administratie (Kenia en NL) en reporting goed staat. De Finance Manager moet zelfstandig betalingen, payroll, reporting, financiële administratie op zich gaan nemen.
- Financial analysis en budgettering. Door middel van het maken van financiële rapporten geef je business units inzicht in hun performance. Aan de hand van de analyze alloceren we budgetten aan operations, sales en marketing en HR.

3. Operations
- Aansturen Lokale operations Manager (team van >4 man); zodat de reizen tot in de puntjes georganiseerd zijn. Het Operations team is verantwoordelijk voor boekingen, transport, organisatie van de reis, management en inventory.
- Aansturen House and Office Manager; zorgen dat onze villa een goede leef- en werkplek is, waardoor de het team tevreden is en optimaal kan presteren
Wie ben jij?

- Pragmatisch, energiek en positief. Je moet om kunnen gaan met werken in een Afrikaanse context. Het vereist veel eigen initiatief om dingen op te pakken
- Leader met Management Skills. Een groot deel van je werk is het coachen en aansturen van ons lokale en internationale team.
- Analytisch en Strategisch en business-minded. Het bedrijf is jong en groeit hard. Er moeten continue goede business keuzes gemaakt worden om het nog harder te laten groeien.
- Financieel sterk. Je bent eindverantwoordelijke voor finance en moet dus affiniteit hebben met cijfers, excel en bij voorkeur ervaring in finance.
- Passie en Flexibiliteit; natuurlijk moet je een passie hebben voor reizen, Afrika, en een business laten groeien! Ook moet je flexibel zijn om hier heen te komen en in Kenia voor lange tijd willen wonen.

Werkervaring en studie achtergrond:
- Afgeronde WO opleiding
- >3 jaar in Consulting, Start-ups, Finance, Sales Operations, Marketing …
- Bij voorkeur werk- en management ervaring in Afrika (of andere Emerging markets)
- Kennis van of affiniteit met: Excel, Systemen (e.g. CRM), Operations, etc.

Our Offer en Compensation
- Marktconform Salaris en bonus
- Mogelijkheid om te ondernemen in Afrika, leiding te geven en bij te dragen aan de groei van een bedrijf. Met het idee om business partner/aandeelhouder te worden
- Werken en leven in prachtige villa, met grote tuin en private chef. Accommodatie en eten inclusief.
- Reizen en de mooiste plekken ontdekken in booming Afrika!
- Return Ticket (6 maanden, i.v.m. visum) en Visumkosten vergoed.

Deadline: 9 april. Meer informatie: www.charlies-travels.com (website wordt vertaald naar het Nederlands)

Ideale startperiode: a.s.a.p. tot uiterlijk 1 juli

Note: This is a job advertisement, applications will be forwarded to the employer for selection. The employer will do the recruitment process himself. JobnetAfrica believes all applicants should get feedback, good or bad, but we don’t have any influence on this concerning this job.

Expiring: May 06, 2017